93-Year-Old WWII Veteran Is Sworn In as Mayor of New Jersey Town

- JOHANNA LI

A 93-year-old World War II veteran was sworn in Tuesday night as the newest mayor of Tinton Falls, N.J.

Vito Perillo won a seat as a Republican candidate after winning 53 percent of the vote over Gerald M. Turning, who was seeking a second term in office.

Perillo, who served with the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific from 1944 to 1947, ran on a platform that called for lower taxes and more transparency. It was the first time Perillo has ever run for office.

To win a seat, Perillo wore out two pairs of shoes campaigning door-to-door, he told The Asbury Park Press.

“He is fit and witty and [has] just got decades left in him,” Perillo’s granddaughter Melissa Balsamello said during the campaign.

Perillo reportedly decided to run after a pair of whistleblower lawsuits involving the police department cost the borough about $1.1 million in settlements.

He has declared that his first order of business is to set up a reasonable budget.

Turning, his opponent, was the borough police chief from 2004 to 2011 and the borough administrator between 2010 and 2014.

RELATED STORIES